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Magic 98, Suns 90

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Can an entire city be in a slump? It sure feels that way right now to Phoenix pro sports fans.

A few hours after the NFL's Arizona Cardinals were embarrassed 58-0 in Seattle for their ninth consecutive loss, J.J. Reddick scored 20 points, fellow reserve Andrew Nicolson added 19, and the Orlando Magic handed the Phoenix Suns a seventh straight loss with a 98-90 decision Sunday.

Orlando completed a season sweep of Phoenix.

The Magic, who beat the Suns 115-94 in Orlando on Nov. 4 behind 24 points from Reddick, trailed by nine points in the first quarter and six in the third. However, they roared back thanks to 49 points from the bench, led by Reddick, Nicholson and E'Twaun Moore (10 points). Glen Davis had 15 points for Orlando, and Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Suns, who finished 0-4 against the NBA's two Florida teams, have dropped seven straight for the first time since Feb. 4-22, 2004, the year before Steve Nash arrived in Phoenix to spark a run of three appearances in the Western Conference finals.

Shannon Brown led the Suns with 17 points -- 10 in the third quarter when the Suns took a lead before crumbling in a hail of missed shots.

Phoenix played without starting point guard Goran Dragic (illness) and top reserve P.J. Tucker (knee), dropping to 1-8 while playing nine games in 15 days in nine cities. Sebastian Telfair missed six of seven shots and managed just six points and eight assists in 37 minutes subbing for Dragic.

The Suns scored the first six points and led 15-6 after five Orlando turnovers in the first six minutes. However, Reddick, who scored just six points in 34 minutes during a Friday loss at Sacramento, got hot and turned the game around.

Reddick had seven quick points to pull the Magic within a 23-20 deficit after one quarter, then hit two 3-pointers 19 seconds apart to spark a 21-7 Orlando run. Jameer Nelson's layin capped the stretch that gave Orlando a 43-37 lead with 6:08 left in the half. Reddick finished the half with 17 points, and the Magic led 53-48 at the break.

Brown hit two 3-pointers during a 19-4 Phoenix run in the third quarter as the Suns went ahead 67-61. But the Magic answered with eight straight points and took a 71-70 lead to the final quarter.

NOTES: Dragic reportedly lost six pounds since Saturday morning. ... Before the defeat, the Suns were one of just three NBA teams that hadn't experienced a losing streak of seven games or more over the last nine seasons. The two remaining are Dallas and San Antonio. ... Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn is happy with his team's defense at the 3-point arc. "It's just our ability to have good closeouts, be disciplined and contest shots," Vaughn said. "Guys have been committed to it. It's paid off for us." ... The Magic hit five of their 20 3-pointers Sunday, making them 8-3 when they sink at least five three-pointers in a game and 0-9 when they make four or fewer.
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